This Week in New York Insider's Guide to Arts & Culture in New York City Since 2001

THE ORCHID SHOW: THAILAND

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The fifteenth annual Orchid Show at the New York Botanical Garden transports visitors to Thailand (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The New York Botanical Garden
Enid A. Haupt Conservatory
2900 Southern Blvd., Bronx
Tuesday – Sunday through April 9, $8-$10 children two to twelve, $20-$25 adults, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
718-817-8700
www.nybg.org
twi-ny orchid slideshow

For its fifteenth annual Orchid Show, the New York Botanical Garden takes visitors to Thailand, a country with a rich orchid history and one of the world’s leading exporters of native and hybrid varieties. The Orchid Society of Thailand was formed in 1957; today Thailand produces more than $80 million worth of orchids every year, and its industry is on the cutting edge of micropropagation and cloning. On view through April 9, “The Orchid Show: Thailand,” inspired by the Nong Nooch Tropical Botanical Garden in Chonburi Province, designed by Christian Primeau, and curated by Marc Hachadourian, features more than a thousand plants in a rainbow of colors that reveal Thailand’s natural diversity, with focuses on dendrobium, vandas, paphiopedilum, and miniatures.

(photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Exhibition features more than a thousand varieties of orchids and other plants native to Thailand (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

The pond display at the entrance boasts an elephant topiary; elephants are Thailand’s national symbol. (Thai topiaries, known as mai dat, date back to the thirteenth century and are generally abstract.) Sky lanterns (khom loi) hang from above, disposing of bad luck and bringing good fortune. A pair of spirit houses, hand-carved by Pirot Gitikoon, are shrines for protective spirits, with flower offerings, incense, candles, dancers, protective dragon spirits (naga), unseen guardian spirits (phra phum), elephants representing transportation, and strawberry soda. The centerpiece of the exhibition is a sala Thai, a place of rest and contemplation; hundreds of orchids grow in the pavilion, which was designed by artist and architect Mom Luang Tridosyuth Devakul (Mom Tri). In addition to orchids, there are other examples of Thai horticulture, including bouganvillea, bamboo, mangoes, bananas, and palms.

Offerings are made at spirit houses for protection (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Offerings are made at spirit houses for protection (photo by twi-ny/mdr)

Orchid Evenings take place March 31 (LGBTQ Night) and April 1, 7, and 8 from 6:30 to 9:30, with music and dancing, a cash bar, and no one under twenty-one. (Try the Dancing Lady, created for the show by Edible Bronx mixologist Bruce “Blue” Rivera, consisting of silver tequila, tamarind purée, triple sec, grapefruit juice, and lime juice.) On April 2 and 9 in Ross Hall, “Magical Thailand — A Journey with the Somapa Thai Dance Co.” celebrates Thai art and culture. There are also orchid care demonstrations in the Conservatory GreenSchool on Saturdays and Sundays at 2:30 and 3:30 and orchid experts on call for advice in the NYBG shop Saturdays and Sundays from 1:30 to 4:30.

BROOKLYN MUSEUM FIRST SATURDAY: BEYOND THE BLUES

Joseph Kosuth, “276 (On Color Blue),” neon tubing, transformer, and electrical wires, 1993 (© 2016 Joseph Kosuth / Artists Rights Society, New York. Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Joseph Kosuth, “276 (On Color Blue),” neon tubing, transformer, and electrical wires, 1993 (© 2016 Joseph Kosuth / Artists Rights Society, New York. Photo: Brooklyn Museum)

Brooklyn Museum
200 Eastern Parkway at Washington St.
Saturday, April 1, free, 5:00 - 11:00
212-864-5400
www.brooklynmuseum.org

The Brooklyn Museum focuses on numerous aspects of the word “blue” in its April First Saturday program, “Beyond the Blues.” There will be live music and dance by the Martha Redbone Roots Project, Geko Jones and Chiquita Brujita with Fogo Azul and Aina Luz, the Brooklyn Dance Festival (with a workshop), and Queen GodIs with special guests; the pop-up poetry event “An Address of the Times” with Pamela Sneed, Heather Johnson, t’ai freedom ford, and Timothy Du White; a screening of Marcie Begleiter’s Eva Hesse, followed by a discussion with Helen Charash (Hesse’s sister) and producer Karen Shapiro; a hands-on art workshop in which participants can make marbled paper using the Japanese suminagashi (“floating ink”) technique; an Emerging Leaders of New York Arts booth where participants can write postcards in support of the arts, take part in a public art project, and take a #SaveTheNEA selfie; the lecture performance #sky #nofilter by Chloë Bass exploring racial trauma; and a “New York City Participatory Budgeting” program where people can propose and vote on projects in their community. In addition, you can check out such exhibits as “Iggy Pop Life Class by Jeremy Deller,” Marilyn Minter: Pretty/Dirty,” “Infinite Blue,” “A Woman’s Afterlife: Gender Transformation in Ancient Egypt,” and, at a discounted admission price of $12, “Georgia O’Keefe: Living Modern.”

CULTUREMART 2017

Purva Bedi and Mariana Newhard perform a duet in ASSEMBLED IDENTITY (photo by Benjamin Heller)

Mariana Newhard and Purva Bedi perform a duet in ASSEMBLED IDENTITY at HERE (photo by Benjamin Heller)

HERE
145 Sixth Ave. at Dominick St.
March 15-25, $15
212-647-0202
here.org

HERE’s annual multidisciplinary festival, CultureMart, starts tonight, featuring workshop performances that often defy easy categorization. Things kick off March 15-16 with Purva Bedi, Kristin Marting, and Mariana Newhard’s Assembled Identity, a multimedia duet between Bedi and Newhard that explores just what makes us human, on a shared bill with Trey Lyford’s kinetic solo show The Accountant, about how we can lose our humanity at the office. On March 18-19, Gisela Cardenas + Milica Paranosic and InTandem Lab’s Hybrid Suite No. 2: The Carmen Variations tells the story of fictional archaeologist Elizabeth Sherman, paired with Leah Coloff’s autobiographical song cycle ThisTree. The double bill for March 21-22 consists of Rob Roth’s cinematic hybrid Soundstage, linking the screen goddess with the adoring gay male fan, and Chris Green’s American Weather, an interactive piece performed by Quince Marcum, Katie Melby, and Yasmin Reshamwala. On March 25-26, Zoey Martinson and Smoke & Mirrors Collaborative lead audiences into The Black History Museum . . . According to the United States of America, examining the criminal justice system, while a birthday party turns into much more in Jeremy Bloom and Brian Rady’s Ding Dong It’s the Ocean. CultureMart concludes March 26 with a reading of HERE playwright in residence and downtown legend Taylor Mac’s The Bourgeois Oligarch, the third section of his four-part Dionysia Festival, this one involving a ballet and a philanthropist. With tickets only $15, CultureMart is always a great way to check out new and up-and-coming talent presenting works in progress at one of our favorite spaces.

REMEMBERING FUKUSHIMA: ART AND CONVERSATIONS

Eiko

Eiko will lead a special program on March 11 at St. John the Divine commemorating the sixth anniversary of the Fukushima disaster

Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine
1047 Amsterdam Ave. at 112th St.
Saturday, March 11, free with advance RSVP, 1:00 - 5:00
212-316-7540
www.eikoandkoma.org
www.stjohndivine.org

In 2014, New York–based Japanese teacher, dancer, and visual artist Eiko Otake brought her “Body in Places” solo project to Fukushima, site of the devastating 2011 earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear meltdown. On March 11, Eiko, the current Dignity Initiative Artist in Residence at the Cathedral Church of St. John the Divine, will commemorate the sixth anniversary of the tragedy with a special memorial program at the church, held in conjunction with the closing of the exhibition “The Christa Project: Manifesting Divine Bodies,” which Eiko cocurated and includes William Johnston’s photographs of Eiko in Fukushima. “Remembering Fukushima” will feature William Johnston, Marilyn Ivy, Thomas Looser, Mark McCloughan, Alexis Moh, Nora Thompson, Megu Tagami, John Kelly, Carol Lipnik, DonChristian Jones, Geo Wyeth, Ronald Ebrecht, Ralph Samuelson, Elizabeth Brown, Jake Price, Katja Kolcio, and NYC iSCHOOL and is dedicated to writer Kyoko Hayashi, who was scheduled to participate but passed away on February 19 at the age of eighty-six. Writing about a “practice run” of the program, Eiko explained in a statement, “I found myself speaking not only of how this artmaking was a way for me to personally empathize with the destruction caused by nuclear energy but also about how much it meant to me to be a part of this larger event with so many intelligent and creative people. I felt (and feel) honored to be one of many figuring out how to empathize with, speak truth of, and remember the Fukushima disaster.” Conceived and directed by Eiko, “Remembering Fukushima,” presented in association with Asia Society and Danspace Project, will take place from 1:00 to 5:00; admission is free with advance RSVP.

NIHON BUYO DANCE

(photo courtesy of the artists)

Geimaruza will perform nihon buyo dance at Japan Society this weekend (photo courtesy of the artists)

Japan Society
333 East 47th St. at First Ave.
March 3-4, intro lecture & demonstration, $12 (free for same-night ticket holders), 6:30
March 3-4, performances, $55, 8:00
Saturday, March 4, workshop, $75, 2:00
Sunday, March 5, family program, $28, 4:00
212-715-1258
www.japansociety.org
www.geimaruza.com

Geimaruza, a Japanese troupe consisting of alumni from Tokyo University of the Arts, will be at Japan Society this weekend with “Nihon Buyo Dance,” offering a mélange of kabuki and folk-dance performances, workshops, and a family-friendly event, melding the contemporary with the traditional. On March 3 and 4 at 8:00, six dancers and eight musicians (playing shamisen, fue, taiko, otsuzumi, and kotsuzumi) will perform Ayatsuri Sanbaso (Puppet Sanbaso), Oshukubai (The Nightingale in the Plum Tree), Shunkashuto (Four Seasons), and the musical numbers “Nagare,” “Toki,” and “Shishi.” featuring three drummers and fue). Each show will be preceded at 6:30 ($12, free for ticket holders) by the lecture-demonstration “A Comprehensive Intro/Demo to Nihon Buyo with Geimaruza.” On Saturday at 2:00 ($75), the workshop “Nihon Buyo Dance & Music with Geimaruza” will teach participants various movements, set to live music. The weekend comes to a close on Sunday at 4:00 ($28) with “Nihon Buyo Dance for Kids & Families,” featuring an introduction to kabuki-based dance and performances of Ayatsuri Sanbaso (Puppet Sanbaso) and Oshukubai (The Nightingale in the Plum Tree).

MARTHA GRAHAM DANCE COMPANY AT THE JOYCE

Anne Souder and Lloyd Mayor perform in Martha Graham’s “Dark Meadow Suite.” (photo by Hibbard Nash Photography)

Anne Souder and Lloyd Mayor perform in Martha Graham’s “Dark Meadow Suite,” which will be part of two-week season at the Joyce this month (photo by Hibbard Nash Photography)

The Joyce Theater
175 Eighth Ave. at 19th St.
February 14-26, $10-$60
212-691-9740
www.joyce.org
marthagraham.org

The Martha Graham Company will explore various aspects of magical thinking in three separate programs in its winter season at the Joyce, taking place February 14-26. Program A consists of a world premiere by Annie-B Parson, inspired by Graham’s Punch and the Judy and with text by playwright Will Eno, and Pontus Lidberg’s Woodland, both of which were created for the company, and Graham’s Dark Meadow Suite and Maple Leaf Rag. Program B comprises a new work by Sidi Larbi Cherkaoui dealing with Sufi mysticism, Nacho Duarte’s Rust, and Graham’s Primitive Mysteries and Diversion of Angels. Program C features the new Parson and Cherkaoui works in addition to Graham’s Clytemnestra Act II and Maple Leaf Rag. There will be an All-City Panorama University Partners Showcase on February 18 at 2:00, with Graham classics Helios, Panorama, Plain of Prayer, Prelude to Action, and Steps in the Street performed by high school and college dancers from around the country, and the February 22 show will be followed by a Curtain Chat. The company, which began life as the Martha Graham Studio in 1926, is currently made up of dancers So Young An, PeiJu Chien-Pott, Laurel Dalley Smith, Abdiel Jacobsen, Lloyd Knight, Charlotte Landreau, Jacob Larsen, Lloyd Mayor, Ari Mayzick, Marzia Memoli, Anne O’Donnell, Lorenzo Pagano, Ben Schultz, Anne Souder, Leslie Andrea Williams, Konstantina Xintara, and Xin Ying, under the artistic direction of former principal dancer Janet Eilber.

LAST WORK

Batsheva Dance Company perform exhilarating LAST WORK at BAM through February 4 (photo by  Julieta Cervantes)

Batsheva Dance Company perform exhilarating LAST WORK at BAM through February 4 (photo by Julieta Cervantes)

BAM Howard Gilman Opera House
30 Lafayette Ave. between Ashland Pl. & St. Felix St.
February 1-4, $25-$65, 7:30
718-636-4100
www.bam.org
www.batsheva.co.il

There’s no need to worry about the title of Ohad Naharin’s latest piece for Batsheva Dance Company; he’s been considering the title Last Work for eight or nine of his previous efforts, merely representing that it’s the latest, not a career-ending finale. And that’s a very good thing, because Last Work, continuing at BAM’s Howard Gilman Opera House through February 4, shows the kibbutz-born Israeli choreographer, who since 1990 has led Batsheva — founded in 1964 by Baroness Batsheva de Rothschild, with Martha Graham as its first artistic adviser — still at the top of his game. For sixty-five minutes, seventeen members of the immensely talented Tel Aviv-based troupe speak to the audience in Naharin’s unique Gaga movement language, employing gesticulations and motion that emphasize body parts, animal instincts, pleasure, freedom, and imagination. “We are turning on the volume of listening to our body, we appreciate small gestures, we are measuring and playing with the texture of our flesh and skin, we might be silly, we can laugh at ourselves,” Naharin explains about Gaga, and Last Work features all that and more. The curtain rises to reveal a woman in a blue dress and sneakers running in place at the back of the stage, seemingly suspended in air. The dancers wear different-colored shorts and tops at the start, changing into dark outfits and, later, off-white undergarments, designed by dancer Eri Nakamura (Naharin’s wife), melding well with Avi Yona Bueno’s (Bambi) lighting.

Batsheva Dance Company reach out and touch one another in LAST WORK  (photo by  Julieta Cervantes)

Batsheva Dance Company reach out and touch one another in LAST WORK (photo by Julieta Cervantes)

Memorable moments abound, including all the dancers placing their hands over one standing man’s body, the company wriggling across the floor on their butts, individual solos with sharp, angular movements of knees and elbows, an emotional pas de deux by Bret Easterling and Zina (Natalya) Zinchenko (the latter in a tutu), and two women slowly reaching their hands out as they tilt back their heads in yearning, all set to Grischa Lichtenberger’s score, which ranges from electronic music to Romanian lullabies. (Three words Naharin, who has a young daughter with Nakamura, told his company to consider when formulating the piece were “baby,” “ballerina,” and “executioner.”) Although there is no specific narrative thread through most of Last Work, it concludes with a series of surprise props that make ambiguous, and funny, political references; Naharin, who was previously at BAM with 2014’s Sadeh21, 2012’s Hora, and 2007’s Three, has been outspoken in his support of peace between Israel and the Palestinians, resulting in protests against Batsheva from both sides because he refuses to denounce either. And then packing tape brings everyone and everything together, even the runner, who has not stopped for a second. Last Work is another exhilarating triumph from one of the world’s most inventive, entertaining, and influential choreographers. (For more on Naharin and Batsheva, you can check out Tomer Heymann’s new documentary, Mr. Gaga, at Film Forum and the Film Society of Lincoln Center, with several screenings followed by Q&As and demonstrations.)